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SIYE Time:11:43 on 3rd December 2023


Harry Potter and the Ritual of Love's Memory
By Forge2

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Category: Post-HBP
Characters:All
Genres: Action/Adventure, General, Romance
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 198
Summary: After the horcrux hunt implodes leaving most of those Harry loves dead, he starts a new life with a few fellow survivors far away from wizarding Britain. But the discovery of an ancient ritual that promises to send a single memory back in time sparks hope that maybe things can change. Dark ending to DH followed by a tweaked retelling of GoF through DH. Harry/Ginny. Friday updates.
Hitcount: Story Total: 38044; Chapter Total: 807
Awards: View Trophy Room






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Harry stumbled as his feet struck the hard ground. The cup rolled a few feet away, resting against a mound of recently overturned soil. His green eyes darted around the unfamiliar landscape shrouded in the darkness of twilight. Large, grey stones jutted from the earth, occasionally marked with ugly statues. Before his mind had time to register what it meant, he heard a voice from behind him say, "A graveyard."

Viktor hadn't fallen to the ground upon landing, but he looked just as troubled by the setting as Harry felt.

"Do you think it's a final challenge for whoever grabbed the cup?" asked Harry as he rose to his feet and dusted off his pants.

"I don't know. Perhaps, but this does not feel right." His eyes narrowed as he took in his surroundings. "I think we should stay together. Keep on guard."

Harry nodded before pointing his wand at his shoes and casting the footstep-silencing charm Professor Moody had used against him in their training. Viktor gave him a nod, and Harry cast it again on his friend's feet. They crouched down a bit and moved uphill through the graves, careful to dart from one to the next quickly and quietly.

Viktor was turning around to say something when Harry's scar seemed to burst with pain. A scream escaped his lips. He fell to his knees, his wand clattering off a weather-worn tombstone as his hands sprang to his forehead.

A high, cold voice cut through the air. "Fool! I told you I heard the portkey! Find him at once! NOW!"

The pain pulsating from Harry's scar was enough to have him writhing on the ground until a knee came down on his chest, nearly knocking the wind out of him. A rough hand covered his mouth, stifling his cry. Dark eyes filled with worry met his gaze.

Viktor's whisper was barely audible. "Stay quiet." It took all the concentration he could muster, but Harry reined in his will to yell out in pain. He even managed to quiet his ragged breathing so that it wouldn't give them away as he heard Viktor cast a hasty disillusionment charm on them both.

Less than a minute later, a short man with a pointed nose cautiously passed into their line of sight, his watery eyes darting to and fro as he searched the graves. A mixture of anger and revulsion roiled inside Harry as he beheld the man responsible for giving up his parents to Voldemort. Viktor had loosened his grip over Harry's mouth slightly but felt the frown forming nonetheless.

In a hushed whisper, he asked, "You know him?" Harry nodded just enough to indicate to Viktor before he lowered his hand.

"He wants to kill me," Harry's words were so soft that Viktor could hardly hear them. "He got my parents killed."

"Attack? Or stay hidden?"

The fear and anger Harry felt in the moment made it hard to think clearly. They outnumbered Wormtail at the moment, but they didn't know if the voice of Voldemort meant that there could be others who were as of yet unseen. They were at a disadvantage by not knowing their location or the surroundings well. On the other hand, if they could catch Wormtail, Harry felt certain that Sirius would be exonerated and able to walk free. He knew capturing an adult wizard who'd been working with Voldemort wouldn't be easy, but he couldn't help thinking this might be worth it.

"Can you apparate?" Harry whispered, his green eyes staring unrelentingly at his parents' former friend.

"Yes, but only for myself. I cannot bring another with me."

"Damn! I don't know how yet." Harry furiously thought through ideas of how to both escape and take Wormtail captive. "What if you apparate back to Hogwarts, then get Dumbledore or some other professor to come back to get me?"

Viktor scowled before whispering, "I von't leave you here alone with a man who vants to kill you. And I don't know how I could explain to anyone vhere ve are." He held up a hand as the man looked in their direction, but the disillusionment charm was working well. The man muttered, "Lumos!" and cautiously tiptoed further down the path away from the hidden boys. "Also, Her-My-Own-Nee said we could not apparate to the school."

Harry reluctantly nodded. "My scar hurts worse than it ever has before, which always seems to mean Voldemort is nearby. I really want to capture the man who walked by, but I think we hafta figure out a way back."

"I doubt there is a working floo nearby…" Viktor's eyes followed the bright wand tip of Wormtail as he made a turn down a path parallel to their hiding spot. Suddenly, Viktor's body became rigid. Harry tore his eyes from Wormtail to see a slight smile on Viktor's face.

"The Cup!" he exclaimed before clapping his free hand over his mouth. The wand light down the path shone in their general direction as neither of the boys even dared to breathe. The man began slowly treading in their direction, though the light of the wand was not directed at their hiding place.

"The Cup vas a portkey," said Viktor in a nearly inaudible whisper. "It may bring us back."

"Master!" called out Wormtail as the two hidden teens froze. "I think I found something!"

As soon as he heard the man's voice, Harry covered his mouth with his hands and braced himself. Sure enough, the pain in his scar redoubled and it took every bit of will not to succumb to the pain that wracked him as the high, cold voice replied, "Assistance is coming."

Wormtail pointed the light right towards them as Harry's involuntary twitches and movements stirred the dead leaves. "I can't see him, but I think he's somewhere over here. He might be under an invisibility cloak!"

Harry knew he didn't have time to be angry at the moment, but somewhere in the back of his mind, he thought that this betrayal would throw Sirius into a fit of rage. If he survived long enough to recount it to his godfather, that is.

Wormtail's light was trained in their general location, but Harry felt as though the man hadn't quite surmised where they were huddled against a weathered gravestone yet. He began to raise his wand to point at the slowly approaching man when a new voice stopped him in his tracks.

"Yessss, he wassss correct. But there are two hidden, Massster…"

Before Harry could move, he heard the voice from before say, "Capture them!"

An enormous snake rapidly slithered from behind a nearby grave directly toward Harry and Viktor. The surprised Bulgarian swore as he fired spells in rapid succession at the beast, but each either missed or glanced off its scaly hide. Harry's wand trained on the serpent, too, but his cutting curse had no effect. The snake struck with a hiss, pumping venom deep into Viktor Krum's thigh.

Viktor let out a cry of anger and pain. He gave up trying to use spells on the serpent, instead punching it with wild abandon. It released his leg from its mouth before retreating a few feet away, where it coiled and eyed the two warily.

"Stupefy!" came the voice of Wormtail. As the light sped towards him, Harry realized that the disillusionment had been dispelled. Then, the world around him went black.



The sharp pain in Harry's forehead caused his head to jolt back, where it collided with some sort of flat stone. He hissed at the pain in his head before noticing the throbbing in other parts of his body. His lungs strained to draw breath against the ropes lashed across his chest. He was fairly certain he was more bruised than he'd been while fighting in the maze, and a trickle of blood was oozing down from his right ear and onto his shoulder. Another more freely-flowing cut on his arm was dripping onto the ground. His vision was blurry, but that seemed to be more due to his lack of glasses than anything else.

Harry squinted as he surveyed the scene before him. A tall, black-robed figure stood over a small, whimpering man. From the sound of the smaller man's cries, Harry knew it was Wormtail, thanking the tall man for something. The faint pop of apparition alerted Harry that more wizards and witches were gathering. They formed a line in front of the tall man, and even Harry's poor vision was enough to understand that these newcomers were dressed just as the Death Eaters at the Quidditch World Cup had been.

To his left in the glow of the firelight, Harry saw that Viktor had been lashed to the neighboring gravestone. The young man seemed to be much paler than usual and he was bleeding profusely from an already-swollen wound on his thigh. As he coughed, a frothy trickle of blood dribbled down his chin.

"Viktor!" Harry said quietly, hoping not to attract attention from the gathering Death Eaters. "Viktor, what happened?"

He coughed again before looking toward Harry, his eyes looking vacant.

"The man who captured us tied us here," said Viktor with some difficulty. "There vas a giant snake and a child that looked like evil itself. I did not understand the potion, but the man put in bone from the grave you are tied to, blood from your arm where he cut you, and his own hand into the cauldron then dropped in the child. Out came the one standing there." He inclined his drooping head toward the tall man facing the Death Eaters. "I think the Dark Lord has returned."

"That is precisely correct!" Harry watched as the figure from the cauldron wheeled around to face them.

"How kind of you to bring young Mr. Potter up to speed while I welcomed my Death Eaters. You are Viktor Krum, a student of one of my former followers, Igor Karkaroff." Voldemort's red eyes narrowed as he spat the headmaster's name. He sauntered past the fire toward the grave where Viktor was tied. "Perhaps you are wiser than he, as you are definitely more skilled. It would take quite the wizard to make it here with my faithful servant rigging the competition to allow Mr. Potter to reach the portkey first.

"So I will offer you a choice… Will you serve me loyally? Or will you perish?"

Harry couldn't see the expressions on the now-unmasked Death Eaters behind Voldemort, but the determination on Viktor's face was visible to Harry even without glasses.

"Karkaroff did not speak of you much." Viktor's voice shook slightly as he spoke. "Vhat does it mean to follow you?"

"My followers seek a better world, where those of us with pure magical blood take our rightful place."

"And in this better vorld, vhat happens to the Muggleborns?"

Voldemort sneered as he moved directly in front of Krum.

"Whatever we want."

With his head hanging, Viktor coughed again. Blood and the snake's venom dripped from his chin onto the hard ground. He lifted his heavily-lidded eyes to meet the red ones.

"My heart belongs to a Muggleborn. I vould not see the light of her eyes lost."

Voldemort cried out, "Crucio!" Harry watched his friend in horror as a great chorus of jeers arose from the Death Eaters. Viktor thrashed against the ropes binding him to the gravestone until Voldemort's wand lowered.

"A small taste of your alternative should you decline my generous offer," said Voldemort. Viktor hung limp against his restraints.

"Let him go!" yelled Harry as he strained against his ropes. "He's not even who you wanted! You wanted me, right?"

"Harry Potter! And I thought you might snooze throughout my triumphant reemergence." Voldemort turned to the boy with a malevolent smile. "It is true that I had planned to bring only you to serve as witness to my rebirth. My faithful servant at Hogwarts had to put in quite a lot of work to ensure someone as undeserving as you made their way through the tasks well enough to get to the portkey first, and even with all that aid you still managed only a tie. But that serves my purposes well, as it would be a shame to let such a gift go to waste, especially since you seem to care what happens to him…"

Red eyes maintained a stare deep into Harry's while the Dark Lord retrained his wand on Viktor. "I could torture him while you watch… or perhaps force him to turn his wand upon you?" Voldemort's brow furrowed as he peered deep into the green eyes of his enemy. "Ah, I see. You hope to delay me in order to give time for someone to save you both? Or even just him? You really have spent too much time around the old fool…"

He cast his gaze over his shoulder at the Death Eaters, who were listening in rapt attention. "Young Master Potter is holding out hope that someone might come to save him, or at least his pitiful friend here. Shall I help rid him of these last vestiges of hope?"

Without waiting for an answer, Voldemort wheeled around and pointed his wand at Viktor. "Avada Kedavra!"

A green light shot from the wand, colliding with Viktor's chest at point-blank range. The force of the spell knocked him backward into the gravestone, cracking it down the middle and side-to-side from the force. When the dust settled, the crumpled form of Viktor Krum lay unmoving on the broken stone, as lifeless as the rocks on which he lay.

Hot tears streaked down Harry's cheeks as he took in the scene. He hadn't had time to yell a warning or offer a deal. He had simply watched as his friend's life was extinguished.

"Now then…" Voldemort walked nonchalantly to stand in front of Harry. "Wormtail kept suggesting we use the blood from any wizard who opposed me. 'Blood of the enemy' could certainly refer to any number of fools too blind to see the folly of standing against Lord Voldemort. Yet I knew it had to be you."

Voldemort was addressing Harry, but it was clear that his audience was hanging on every word. The Death Eaters were all eager to learn.

"The ancient magical protection afforded to you by your mother was powerful, and far be it from me to pass on such an enchantment. When Quirrell touched you, the blood protection on you consumed him and caused agony I had not felt since our first meeting. But now…" Voldemort's words had no effect on Harry, who was still staring at Viktor's body. A hand reached out and grabbed him by the chin, pulling him to physically move Harry's gaze to Voldemort's eyes. "Now that protection lives in me."

Pain shot through Harry like electricity as Voldemort began to laugh. "For over a decade now, the world has called you 'The Boy Who Lived.' Coddled by Dumbledore and lacking any real talent, yet somehow able to thwart my plans to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone and defeat my Basilisk. Perhaps even some of my Death Eaters wondered if you would be my ultimate downfall…"

Voldemort looked to his gathered followers, as most of them grew paler. Their uncomfortable stares wandered as red eyes narrowed on them, one by one. He slowly returned his gaze to Harry.

"The fools should have known that I have plumbed the depths of magic deeper than any who have gone before me. No mere child could possibly hope to undo the greatness of Lord Voldemort! But just so that each of you knows for certain which of us is worthy of their faith, I will offer him an opportunity to prove himself.

"Wormtail!" called Voldemort over his shoulder. "Bring him his wand. Let's see if this 'Boy Who Lived' can stand against the greatest wizard to ever live!"



The lens on his right side was cracked, but Harry could finally see his surroundings mostly clearly as he stood opposite the fire from Voldemort. The pressure from gripping his wand tightly was causing the wound on his arm to worsen. The blood flow had slowed while he was tied to the gravestone, but Wormtail's careless removal of the ropes had reopened the cut and it was again seeping blood down to his wrist.

The path leading to where Viktor and Harry had landed after the portkey was to Harry's right, beyond the stone where he had been tied. On his left, a menacing line of Death Eaters looked on at the spectacle. Harry noticed Lucius Malfoy standing between two intimidatingly large men who he assumed must be the fathers of Crabbe and Goyle.

"Now then, Harry Potter. You have been taught how to duel?" Voldemort's eyes gleamed with anticipation in the firelight.

Harry thought back to his disastrous evening in the Dueling Club back in second year, when he'd watched Professor Snape disarm Professor Lockhart before being set to duel against the younger Malfoy. That ended with Harry talking a conjured snake into not attacking another student, but then everyone thought he was the Heir of Slytherin because he spoke Parselmouth.

"We begin a duel with a bow," said Voldemort, who inclined his back ever-so-slightly, though he kept his snake-like face focused on Harry. "Oh, come now! You must observe the niceties… Even Dumbledore would want you to show some manners in your last moments. Show some respect!"

Despite the order, Harry remained motionless. Voldemort's sneer and the laughs of the Death Eaters would not budge him. If this was the way he was going to die, Harry thought, he wasn't going to play along with their games.

The sneer turned to a scowl. "I said BOW!" With the flick of the Dark Lord's wand, Harry felt as if a great invisible hand had grabbed him by the spine, forcing him into a deep bow that almost caused him to topple over. The Death Eaters howled with laughter as Harry stood back up straight.

"And now," drawled Voldemort. "We duel!"

Before Harry had a chance to dodge or cast a defensive spell, Voldemort's wand was trained on him as he cried, "Crucio!" Pain enveloped him as he fell to the ground, writhing. He felt his scar would burst from the white-hot searing pain that took hold of his entire body. The pounding of his head and ringing in his ears drowned out the cackling of the Death Eaters.

Then the pain evaporated just as quickly as it had arrived. As Harry regained his faculties, he realized that he was curled in the fetal position on the ground. An occasional involuntary muscle spasm seized him as he attempted to regain his footing. He stumbled sideways into a blonde Death Eater who snarled at him as he shoved Harry back toward the fire and Voldemort.

"A small reprieve… Tell me, Harry Potter, did that hurt you? Would you like for me to stop?"

The tears in the corners of Harry's eyes had stopped falling for the moment. He knew that he had no chance against Voldemort, let alone the thirty or so adult wizards and witches in Death Eater garb watching. But despite everything, he was resolved not to give them any additional enjoyment. They wanted him to beg and plead for mercy, but he was going to deny them that.

Just like Viktor had a few minutes prior.

"When I ask a question, I expect an answer," said Voldemort in a voice dripping with hatred yet hardly louder than a whisper. "Do you want another Cruciatus or not? Answer me! Imperio!"

Suddenly, the pain, frustration, and fear left Harry. It was as if all his thoughts had been wiped clean off of a blackboard, and there was nothing left but a quiet voice entreating him. …just say please no... say no… tell him you don't want any more… just say no…

But a strong voice from the deep reaches of his mind began to oppose the voice. I won't do it. There's no reason to answer.

…just answer no…

I will not.

…just answer no…

I won't!

…just answer…

"SHUT UP!"

The words rocketed from Harry's lips as his chest was heaving, his knuckles white as they gripped his wand with all his strength.

The chorus of laughter from the Death Eaters halted. Harry lifted his head to take in the form of a thoroughly-perplexed Voldemort, though he hid his reaction immediately.

"Now, now, those are very poor manners, indeed." Voldemort twirled his wand between his fingers with a flourish. "It seems like the Cruciatus affects you more than the Imperius. Let's try the first again, shall we?"

Light from his wand sped at Harry again, but the younger wizard anticipated it well. With the lightning-quick speed of a seeker dodging a bludger, Harry leapt to the ground behind a nearby gravestone as the spell passed him by harmlessly.

"Hiding from me, Harry Potter? Surely you understand that there is nowhere safe from Lord Voldemort." The Dark Lord shot a curse at the gravestone, which exploded a moment after Harry darted behind another monument. "I challenged you to a wizard's duel, not a game of hide and seek. If you aren't willing to abide by the rules, I will be forced to cut the duel, and your life, short."

As Harry listened to the quiet footsteps approaching his hiding place, a thought burned itself into his mind. He would not die crouching and cowering like a child. His mother and father had died standing against this monster, and he would do no less. He gripped his wand tightly, ignoring the wound on his arm, as he readied himself for the end. His training with Professor Moody flashed through his head as the nearby footsteps slowed.

Harry jumped to his feet as he whirled around, his wand pointed directly at the imposing figure of Voldemort. With as much strength as he could muster, he bellowed, "Expelliarmus!" as his foe cried, "Avada Kedavra!"

Red light flew at green for a moment before they struck each other with a mighty crack. Instead of the oblivion Harry anticipated, his wand arm began to shake violently. He brought his other hand to steady the wand, which appeared to be connected to Voldemort's by some sort of golden beam of light, almost like a thread. The Dark Lord's wand appeared to be straining against his grip, too.

Despite his surprise and the fear that still gripped him, Harry couldn't help but think that the beam of golden thread reminded him a bit of the rogue memory from a few months ago. Unexplained golden strands seemed to be finding him again and again.

Harry had almost no time to dwell on this mystery before he felt his feet begin to lift up off of the ground. The golden thread lifted both combatants high into the air, then somehow shattered itself to create a dome of light that encircled them both. The beam remained connected to both wands, and Harry's surprise did not prevent him from noticing the shock and perhaps fear in Voldemort's eyes.

Many of the Death Eaters were just as confounded by the new situation. Several drew their wands and hesitantly aimed at Harry or the dome of light itself. Others called out to their master for instructions.

"NO! Do nothing!" cried Voldemort to his followers as he attempted to steady his wand. They swarmed around beneath them like crocodiles anticipating a falling victim, but they heeded his order. "Nothing unless I command it!"

Voldemort was straining against the beam and looked to be trying to wrest his wand away from the light, but Harry held tightly and the beam seemed to almost imperceptively strengthen. At that moment, a beautiful otherworldly sound rang out across the cemetery. The sound swelled in Harry's heart as he tried to recall where he had heard it previously until a similarly bleak moment of despair in the Chamber of Secrets flashed into his mind. It was phoenix song.

The sound of hopefulness echoed in his ears and in his heart. It was both strong and tender, lifting his spirits and glowing with promise. The song wasn't just around him; it was inside him, too. Somehow, the song seemed to be encouraging him not to give up. That there was a chance to survive.

Don't break the connection!

As soon as Harry understood the instruction, it became all the harder to maintain. His wand became shaking more fervently and it was all Harry could do to hold it with both hands. Beads of bright light were forming at the end of Harry's wand, and Voldemort's, too. The beads were slowly sliding down the strand of light where they collided in the middle.

With a twinge of fear, he saw that the gathered beads at the middle point had moved slightly toward him. His wand pitched and bucked as the beads shifted more toward Harry, and his wand was heating up from the strain. Harry felt as though his Holly wand would catch fire at any moment.

With the phoenix song swirling in his head, he summoned as much concentration as he could muster and pushed back through his wand. Voldemort was yelling to his followers not to interfere as the beads of light slowed to a standstill, then began to backtrack toward the Dark Lord. Harry's face was scrunched up in concentration, but he noticed Voldemort's startled look when the beads of light crossed the midway point between them. The wand was becoming less hot in Harry's hand as the beads moved further from him.

With renewed vigor, Harry forced all of his strength into pushing the light further, even though he had no idea what doing so would accomplish. Still, he redoubled his push until one of the beads was mere inches from the end of his opponent's wand. With clenched teeth, Harry grunted with effort as he forced the bead forward.

The light was absorbed into Voldemort's wand, which emitted what sounded like a shriek of pain. Its owner looked down at it in shock as what appeared to be densely packed smoke poured from the wand, forming the shape of a smokey figure flowing out. First a dark head and torso, then arms and legs, until a ghostly Viktor Krum floated in front of a shocked Voldemort. It swooped next to the golden thread toward Harry until it was but a few feet from him and said in an ethereal whisper, "Hold on, Harry!"

He hadn't been planning on releasing his hold on the wand, but hearing the command from Viktor's… Ghost? Shade? Apparition? Harry had no idea what the smoke-version of Viktor actually was, but his resolve to hold tight was buoyed by the return of something approximating an ally.

Voldemort, on the other hand, looked flabbergasted by the intrusion of his recent victim. Another screech from his wand heralded the emergence of a smoke-ghost hand, which fluttered around the golden thread for a moment before dissipating. Though Harry had no idea what this all meant, he took some comfort in seeing the bewildered look on Voldemort's face, which he took to mean that he had not expected any of this, either.

Another bead entered Volldemort's wand, accompanied by another unearthly scream as more smokey substance billowed forth. It formed into a shape of an elderly man whom Harry had never seen in real life, yet he recognized him as the Muggle caretaker from one of his dreams. Frank Bryce's smokey figure glided to Harry, saying, "He's a real wizard, eh?"

Harry's eyes darted from Voldemort to the floating apparition then back. "That one killed me, he did… Fight him, boy!"

The figure of a woman was now emerging from Voldemort's wand, and soon Viktor and Frank were joined by the ghost of Bertha Jorkins. "You can do this!" she cried. "Don't give in, Harry! Don't let him win!"

Death Eaters were whispering to each other in hushed tones below them as they floated in the air above. Harry could see that Voldemort was straining to regain control of his wand, but another bead of light connected before he could stop it. A lump gathered in his throat as Harry anticipated who he thought the next victim of Voldemort's wand would be.

A young woman who looked to be in her early twenties poured out from the wand as it emitted a screech. Harry's jaw became slack as the smoke formed into a visage of his mother, who moved close to him and set her ghostly hand upon his cheek.

"Harry… My dear, Harry." She gazed at him for a long moment with a tender look in her eyes. "Your father is coming. Just hold on…"

Harry was still holding tight to his wand, though his eyes were focused solely on the image of his mother. The telltale scream of Voldemort's wand pulled his attention back to the fight, and he watched as the smoke-version of his father made its way to complete the circle of wraiths around him. Pride shone through on the face of James as he took in his son before he began to speak.

"Oh, my boy…" James smiled with a twinge of sadness. "Harry, we don't have much time. Once this connection is broken, we will only have a few moments. You've got to reach the portkey. The five of us will slow them down as best we can. Do you understand?"

The strain from holding onto the wand felt like it was tearing at his muscles. Harry nodded as his gaze bounced from his father to his mother, then past them to Voldemort.

Viktor came closer and whispered, "Please, tell Her-My-Oh-Nee…" He trailed off as he looked out into the night sky.

"I will," answered Harry. "But I'm sure she already knows."

A resolute smile crossed Viktor's smokey face.

"We love you, Harry," said his mother's voice. "We always will."

"And we're so damn proud of you," followed his father. "But now's the time to get out of here! Get ready to bolt! Do it now!"

"NOW!" yelled Harry as he ripped his wand away from the golden beam. His entire body was exhausted from the fight, so he doubted he could have held on any longer. The dome of light immediately vanished as the golden thread broke. Both Harry and Voldemort fell to the ground amidst the throng of surprised Death Eaters.

Harry felt a crack as his body collided with the ground, his ankle and his left side seemingly screaming out in pain. Despite an immediate limp, he sprang to his feet nonetheless and sprinted back toward the part of the cemetery where the portkey had dropped them off. The air was filled with smoke as the five figures swarmed Voldemort and his nearby followers. Through the chaos, Harry heard Voldemort scream, "Stun him!"

Harry dove behind a nearby gravestone as the air exploded with jets of red light. A nearby angel statue was reduced to rubble as the spells hit anything solid in Harry's direction. He took two deep breaths in and out before springing away from the spell fire, aiming his wand backward over his shoulder, and yelling, "Impedimenta!" Harry didn't look back to see how many foes were affected by the spell, but instead darted to and fro behind tombstones and memorials as quickly as he could.

He winced as his injured ankle struck an unseen grave marker, and he tumbled to the ground as three more jets of red light and a purple one flashed above him. A cry of pain escaped his lips as he rolled behind a large tombstone. He was so close to the cup that he could see it down a path to his right, but the throbbing of his surely-broken ankle told him making a run for it was a useless proposition. Another red spell collided with the stone he was hiding behind, then a dark-blue curse exploded nearby, covering him with earth and stone debris.

"Stand aside, all of you!" Voldemort's yell was dangerously close. "He is mine to kill! Mine and mine alone!"

Harry could hear the footsteps of a dozen Death Eaters as they spread out to encircle him.

"Harry Potter, you are full of surprises…" called Voldemort into the night. "But nothing and no one can stand against Lord Voldemort. Show yourself, and I may be willing to make your demise a quick one!"

His red eyes lit up with surprise when his quarry stood from behind his hiding spot. Voldemort began to sneer. "Such a fool…" laughed the Dark Lord, but he was interrupted by a shout of "ACCIO!" Voldemort watched in shock as the Triwizard Cup flew into the boy's outstretched hand.

Harry felt the touch of cold metal in his hand and the familiar pull behind his navel as the world around him disappeared, while Voldemort's scream of fury faded into oblivion.
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